China opens first African cocoa trading center to meet rising demand

GHANA – An African cocoa trading center has been opened in Hunan Province, Central China to connect the world’s leading cocoa producing region to China’s fast-growing appetite for chocolate.

The marketing center, according to CGTN Africa, will start by selling cocoa mainly from Ghana before bringing in products from more African countries.

“I am confident that every tasty chocolate enjoyed in China has some quantity of Ghana’s premium cocoa as part of its ingredients,” said Edward Boateng, Ghana’s ambassador to China, adding that the West African country is working with the Asian nation to further increase supply.

Xu Xiangping, head of Hunan’s commerce department, said the province aims to build a major trading and processing center for Africa’s farming products including cashew nuts, coffee, cotton and rubber.

“The cocoa center is among the first sub-centres to be established,” said Xu.

The center has been hailed as the first of its kind in China, which is also a rising market for Africa’s coffee to tea.

In East Africa, Rwanda started undertaking auction of its coffee on China’s e-commerce platform, organized by the Alibaba group debut electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP).

Rwanda and the Chinese e-commerce giant signed an agreement in 2018 that opened doors for small businesses in Africa to take part in the cross-border electronic trade by availing their products to the Chinese market through Tmall, a subsidiary online platform of Alibaba.

As a result, several brands of Rwandan single-origin coffee are already available for sale on this platform.

In May about 1.5 tonnes of roasted Rwandan coffee beans from Gorilla Coffee brand were sold within a minute during an online live streaming event which had about 20 million fans.

This was the second time for such an event to be organised by the Rwandan embassy in China. Earlier this year, in a similar event held in Hangzhou City, up to 2,000 packets of Rwandan coffee was sold in about 10 minutes.

National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) earlier this year announced that the country will next year in July, host the third World Coffee Producers Forum that will bring together 1,500 people from over 40 coffee-producing countries.

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